November 1st kicks off National Scholarship Month, which aims to raise awareness of the need for scholarship support for higher education.

November is also the time that many college students begin searching for scholarships. Share these tips for finding the best scholarships with your class.

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Scholarships make a big impact on many college students’ abilities to continue their education, yet earning a scholarship is no easy feat. Sometimes you’ll put in many hours of hard work and still not be selected. And that’s okay. Each scholarship application you fill out gives you much-needed practice that you won’t  get anywhere else. The key is to keep trying. Don’t stop searching and applying even if you get turned down.

It’s a good idea to start searching for scholarships on your school or department website. There may be some scholarships that are available only to your school. Or your department may have compiled some scholarships unique to your major.

You can also meet with your academic advisor to see if they know of any scholarships that you’d be well-suited for. They are likely to know right where to point you and have advice specific to your studies or career goals.

Types of scholarships

It may help to know exactly what types of scholarships you may be eligible for. Academic scholarships are awarded to students at the very top of their classes. These generally go to students with the best grades and the highest test scores in each field.

Scholarship contests can vary the most, with any criteria and any requirements. They may call for you to create a video submission, to solve an environmental problem, or submit an art piece. If your grades are not flawless, as many students’ are not, search online for more unique scholarship opportunities based on your talents and interests.

Career scholarships are unique to certain fields (medical, business, design, etc). For career-related scholarships, it’s a good idea to start your search at organizations related to the field, who often sponsor such awards. The American Marketing Association, for example, has an “Awards and Competitions” section especially for students.

Athletic scholarships are, of course, available for popular sports such as football, baseball, soccer, or basketball. But you can also look for scholarships in “less televised” sports such as archery, swimming, lacrosse, or bowling.

For even more tips on finding the perfect scholarships, visit our post, “3 Quick Tips and 30 New Scholarships for College Students.”

What part of the scholarship hunt do you find the most challenging? Let us know below.